Thursday, September 16, 2010

University of Michigan Quarterback Denard Robinson --- Is He For Real?

As a college football fanatic, I love watching young men play a game that has more weekly twists and turns than a Formula-1 auto race. I see more big plays per game in college football than the NFL by a long shot and many are just jaw dropping.

But how often do you see a relative unknown player make play after play from the quarterback position that either make you exclaim “Wow!” or leave you speechless? I'll bet not often, but after 2 weekends of play, there has been one such player that has gone from anonymity to household name to potential Heisman Trophy candidate.

Let's meet Denard Robinson, University of Michigan quarterback.

According to Bleacher Report, Robinson was highly recruited out of Florida high school football by such schools as Florida, Georgia, Kansas State, and Michigan. The sophomore signal caller was the backup to incumbent Tate Forcier last season before wresting the job this season.

Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez recruited Robinson because he believed he could run the spread option offense much like his former star quarterback Pat White when he was the head man at the University of West Virginia.

Why have coaches, opponents, teammates, and fans alike gone gaga over this young man? Let's look at the first 2 weeks.

In the Wolverines season opener at home versus Connecticut, Denard completed 19 of 22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 197 yards on 29 carries for a total of 383 yards of total offense. Michigan defeated Uconn 30-10.

Last week at Notre Dame, Robinson broke the single game total offense record by toting the ball another 29 times for 258 yards and completing 24 of 40 passes for 244 yards. That's 502 yards of total offense...Five hundred and two! That's also believed to be a single game record in FBS history.

In a USA Today article written by Nicole Auerbach, Florida head coach Urban Meyer proclaimed Robinson as the best player in the country, or one of them. Said Meyer, "I haven't seen everybody play, but I watched that one. That was ridiculous. We recruited him hard, too. We knew he was a dynamic player and a good person."

After Connecticut's loss to Michigan, Huskies' boss Randy Edsall quipped, "Denard Robinson is going to make people look bad."

Wolverine coach Rich Rodriguez was asked about Robinson's heavy workload. His response was, "Everybody says you can't run your quarterback 20-something times a game." Then Rodriguez fired, "Well, do they say that when you hand it off to Barry Sanders? 'You can't run Barry Sanders 20-something times a game.' If you can handle it, you can handle it."

What do I think of Denard Robinson? I believe that he is a dynamic runner and a good field general. Like many spread option quarterbacks, he could improve his passing accuracy, although his numbers tell a different story. My greatest concern is that he could wear down under the rigors of such Big Ten defenses, particularly Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, and arch rival Ohio State.

As far as the Heisman Trophy? I would think not this season, but in 2011, he will definitely be a top candidate
for the award.



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  1. I think he's for real in the Michigan offense, but as far as future prospects go in terms of the NFL, I'm not exactly optimistic. He really reminds me of Pat White, and look what happened to him.

  2. U of M needed Robinson yet again against FCS opponent UMass. I think the Wolverines are not much without him early this season.

    You may also want to read the USA Today article that I I have the link to in the post.